Saturday, April 25, 2009


Has it really been THAT long since I posted? Since then, Obama was elected President of the United States and... What else happened?

Anyway, I got older, and I realized that I don't want to get older, and I also don't want to die. That may or may not be progress, but it's representative of my psyche. I want to continue to live in Canada, but I have no intentions of changing my citizenship. I never feel more American that when I'm in Canada. I never feel more Canadian than when I'm in the United States.

Since I last posted here, I've written two novellas instead of working on my so-called second novel. I want to revise both of those and have considered expanding them to novel length. What is novel length anyway? My first novel was quite short after I revised and edited it to half its original length. I think every piece of fiction I read should be shorter. If I had edited War and Peace, you could read it in an afternoon. Just kidding. (Not really.) No, I'm kidding.

One novella is about a woman who's married to a Canadian and lives in Vancouver. Where do I come up with these things? She returns to Ohio to attend to some family matters and deal with a secret from her past. Stuff happens. (What? You think I'm going to give up the whole plot?) She returns to Vancouver, not a different woman, but a woman ready to make changes in her life.

The other novella is a romance that takes place in a Michigan defense factory during World War II. That one was so much fun to write and allowed me to indulge my interest in that era. That's the third novel, okay?

But now I've joined a writing circle through the Canadian Authors Association. Well, we sit in more of a rectangle, but they call it a writing circle. Because we send each other our chapters before meetings, this called for some decision-making on my part. What chapters should I send them? What am I REALLY working on? I decided I'm still working on that Egyptian novel. And I am. Working on that Egyptian novel. Still. I'm falling in love with the characters and situations again. I've also figured out why I stopped working on it. I had this one outlined from beginning to end, but then what I was writing began to deviate from the outline. It happened a little at a time, and then I realized that what I was writing was way better than what I had planned. It was more complex and more difficult to write. When I finished Chapter 16, I was stuck. Not blocked, as I was writing other fiction, just stuck. I thought I should be able to write beyond the old outline, as I've usually written from only a few notes, say some opening sentences for chapters, or an idea that I need to get from here (beginning) to there (end).

Now, having shared a few of the early chapters with my writing circle, it's clear what I need to do. I need to throw out the old outline (step sheet) and write a new one for Chapters 17 on and, when that one is no longer working, write another. Boring, eh? Not to me. I can hardly wait to get going on it.

FOCUS. Oh, yeah, I am SO focused.